Saturday, January 25, 2014

How to Use Goodreads to Promote Your Books by Jennifer Hudson Taylor

#goodreads, #books #reviews

Even though is now owned by Amazon, they have left the structure intact as one of the best social media sites for readers and authors to connect on the web. The site has over 5.6 million visitors each month and over 20 million readers total. And unlike many forums, most are readers, not authors. While there are 100,000 authors now participating in Goodread's author programs, there are still 1,000 readers to every author. That's a pretty good ratio if you are trying to reach readers. 

These are avid readers who are addicted to reading. They like to share the news about their favorite books and review them. They create various lists using Listopia and readers' actions are published on a newsfeed to their friends and connections. These readers are social media savvy. They upload book covers and link them to Amazon and have their reviews auto posting to all their other social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.  

Goodreads uses an algorithm similar to Netflix to recommend books to readers who have read and liked certain book genres. In order to get your book into the recommendation list, it will first need to receive a few hundred ratings to get into the recommendation engine. This isn't as hard as it may seem. After your book has been out for a while, offer the ebook version at a discount or for free for a couple of days and those ratings will start rolling in on Goodreads. 

Everyone on Goodreads must first create a basic reader account, which is free. Once you create a reader account, you can then contact Goodreads to be listed as a Goodreads Author. This provides you so much more than a basic reader account. If you are a published author, and you have not done this, I highly recommend it. At Upon the Rock Publicist, we include Goodreads as part of our social media package because we believe it is imperative to authors who are building their platform and trying to sell books. 

Setup an Author Page
Join the Goodreads Author program to get a dedicated author page and link all your books, connect your blog to auto post on your Goodreads Author page, create giveaways, create reader groups, advertise, publicize upcoming events, post videos, post quotes from your books, list a quiz, and get a widget for your personal blog or website to showcase reviews for your books. Goodreads provides a detailed instruction page that will walk you step by step through the setup process. 

List Your Books on Listopia

Search through the Listopia section on Goodreads and find appropriate lists for your book genre. Click the “add books to this list” tab and do a search for your book. You can also add other books to the list. Be sure to vote for your books and ask your friends and readers vote for your books on the lists. Often the difference between 30th and 10th on these lists is only a few votes. 

List Books as Giveaways

List your print books for a giveaway on Goodreads for a limited time. Be aware that ebooks are not allowed. On average, 825 people enter each Goodreads giveaway and over 40,000 enter book giveaways daily. This will expose your book to a huge number of readers that may otherwise not hear about your book and some of them will go ahead and list your book on their "to read" list. 

Provide Book Discussions

Goodreads allows you to host discussions about your book. Readers can ask questions and talk with each other about your book, and authors can be as involved as they choose to be. For the steps on how to start a book discussion, visit Goodread’s Featured Books.

Connect Your Blog to Goodreads

If you choose to connect your blog to the newsfeed on your Goodreads Author page, Goodreads will email your fans once a week of all your new blog posts. This is a great way to reach other readers that may not have subscribed to your regular newsletter and will remind them about your work and keep your name in front of them. This is part of the Goodreads Author Program.

Ask Readers for Reviews

Since Goodreads features books based on the number of reviews, you will want to get as many reviews as possible. While it's natural to want a higher number of positive reviews than bad reviews, even the bad ones increase your overall number of reviews, which is all the algorithm takes into consideration when promoting your book on the Goodreads system. 


Advertising is optional and can be creative around various budgets. You can target people who read in your genre, give high ratings for the kind of books you write and target the fans of other authors who write in your genre. Other strategies would be to target people who have rated your books in the past. This will help ensure they hear about your latest book. Ads cost a minimum of $0.10 per click with a default rate of $0.50 per click. This format is more affordable for people with low to moderate budgets. 

Are you on Goodreads? How have you used to the site to boost your platform and promote your books?


Davalyn Spencer said...

I'm on GR and working on learning the ropes. You are so right about its importance, but at first I felt it was just "another" thing I needed to do and didn't have time for. However, I'm beginning to see that the results are worth the effort with GR. One of my goals in the next few months is to become more involved. Thanks for this informative post.

Linda Glaz said...

Good info, thanks Jennifer

Kym McNabney said...

Great information. Thanks for sharing.

Diana said...

Great info here Jennifer. Thank you.

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Glad it was helpful!

Marian said...

Great tips lots of valuable information. Reviews can really help your books to get recognize.